Help For Struggling Readers

The Piedmont Post, a local newspaper in Piedmont, California just ran an article by Be Amazing about how brain fitness programs like Fast ForWord can help struggling readers. The paper is print-only, but here’s what we had to say:

Even with great, content-rich curriculum in schools and parents who actively support their children’s literacy growth, many children struggle to learn to read or to become better readers. Some children may have a formal diagnosis of dyslexia, while many more may simply find the act of reading a challenge, rather than a joy.

Research into how children acquire language and learn to read indicates that when children struggle with oral language skills such as the ability to differentiate sounds, these issues lead to challenges with reading and writing, which can expand to impact other academic areas. In fact, a recent study showed that language comprehension at age 3 is the best predictor of later language, early reading and reading skills at ages 5 and 7.

Unfortunately, struggling readers fall further and further behind their peers as they get older. By the age of thirteen, students who struggled with early reading in kindergarten are, on average, five years behind their peers who did not.

The good news is that we can help struggling students become proficient readers and learners by developing these critical foundational language skills. Brain fitness programs, like the Fast ForWord family of programs from Oakland-based Scientific Learning, improve students’ ability to capture, process, and retain instruction by improving the underlying cognitive skills that build brain capacity: memory, attention, processing rates and sequencing. The Fast ForWord programs simultaneously build foundational reading skills like phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension to quickly bring struggling students to proficiency.

And because of the critical nature of foundational cognitive skills, when you improve them you impact the entire learning process to help students become successful in school and beyond.

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